Covid-19

Christina Boll, Till Nikolka, 02 March 2021

The role of intergenerational contact in the spread of Covid-19 has been the subject of debate since the onset of the pandemic. This column uses survey and administrative data to explore the link between grandparental childcare and Covid-19 infection rates in Germany. The findings cast doubt on simplistic narratives that suggest a link between intergenerational contact and infection rates. The statistical significance of the positive relationship between the frequency of regular grandparental childcare and Covid infection rates breaks down as soon as potentially confounding factors, in particular the local Catholic population share, are controlled for.

Florin Bilbiie, Gauti Eggertsson, Giorgio Primiceri, 01 March 2021

How the US economy will emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic hinges in part on what will happen to the large amount of ‘excess savings’ that US households have accumulated since last March. This column argues that, in fact, these savings are not that excessive when considered against the backdrop of the unprecedented government interventions adopted over the past year in support of households, and that they are unlikely to generate a surge in demand post-pandemic.  

Gee Hee Hong, Yukiko Saito, 25 February 2021

Firm exits have been at the centre of policy discussions since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. This column explores Japanese firm exit patterns during severe crises as well as during normal times. Using a dataset that distinguishes firm exit types, the authors find that Japanese firms mainly exit voluntarily, while bankruptcy rates are extremely low. Further, Japanese firms respond to economic shocks mainly through adjustments to output instead of exits – as was seen during the Covid-19 crisis. The ‘cleansing effects’ of firm exits vary by exit type, but appear stable during the current crisis.

Simeon Djankov, Ugo Panizza, 23 February 2021

Africa’s citizens have so far mostly been spared the direct health consequences of the pandemic, but many of its economies are on life support. Ugo Panizza and Simeon Djankov, two of the editors of a new CEPR ebook about Africa's recovery, talk to Tim Phillips about post-Covid debt, FDI, food security, and how it's in all our interests to step up and help.
Download the free eBook, Shaping Africa’s Post-Covid Recovery, here.

Rabah Arezki, Simeon Djankov, Ugo Panizza, 23 February 2021

While most African countries have been largely spared so far from the direct health effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, the continent’s economy has been significantly hurt by the economic consequences. This is particularly concerning given Africa’s high prevalence of extreme poverty.  A new eBook from CEPR Press focuses on business and household responses to the Covid-19 crisis in Africa, as well as access to international finance, patterns in international borrowing, and country-specific experiences during the pandemic. 

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